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Should the Heat trade for Joel Embiid?

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A Western Conference coach said he’d trade Embiid for some of the Heat’s young core.

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers’ season ended Sunday afternoon, and many are wondering if it’s time for a roster overhaul — including trading one of their Process centerpieces, Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons. And one Western Conference coach said in a HoopsHype article that he’d trade Embiid to the Heat. (The coach said that he’d like to coach Simmons and Embiid together for a year before trading either.)

I think Simmons is more versatile. I’d just surround him with shooters and open the floor up like Milwaukee for Giannis. There can be more creativity with Simmons on the offensive end. I would try to trade Embiid to Miami and get some of their young, hungry shooters and guards like Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, etc. Ideally, I’d get Bam, but I doubt Miami would trade him.

Jimmy Butler also liked an Instagram post from Embiid with the caption, “Tough ending... Onto a better future,” further fueling speculation. Back in February, the two former teammates had another Instagram exchange that hinted at a potential reunion.

I said back in February I don’t see how the Heat could trade for Embiid — whose contract runs through the 2022-23 season — without giving up Bam Adebayo. The 7-foot Cameroonian is just 26 years old and he’s the closest thing we have to Shaquille O’Neal. This situation wouldn’t be similar to the Heat trading for a 32-year-old Shaq in 2004, when Pat Riley gave up Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant.

Now, Herro has turned himself into a more valuable asset in his first playoff appearance. The Heat’s 2019 first-round draft pick averaged 16.5 points per game in Miami’s first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers and made several clutch buckets in the fourth quarters. I said last week that he may be considered untouchable — not because his ceiling is Bradley Beal, but because he’s just 20 years old and on a rookie contract.

I also wouldn’t trade Duncan Robinson. He has been the fulcrum of the Heat offense and is one of the best shooters on the planet. He’ll also earn just $1.6 million next season — incredible value for the production he offers.

The one player who I’d be willing to trade is Nunn, who played well in Game 4 after Butler’s shoulder injury forced Erik Spoelstra to go deeper in his bench. And Nunn’s not bringing in Embiid.

Although Embiid has Hall-of-Fame talent, the Heat should stick with their young core and see how far they take the team. I’d rather Miami sign that next star player outright than give up assets.